While I was thinking about my upcoming anniversary project for the show, I was getting excited and so wanted to post something right away because I have the attention span of a rock. So I thought why not do 24 iconic moments from 24?

What defines an iconic moment?
Obviously all moments from 24 are iconic but I chose moments that shocked us all. Moments that made us emotional. Moments that make 24 24. Important not just for fandom, but for defining and describing what 24 really is.

Before you begin this article, to really get the FULL effect I request you have link open and playing on a loop while you read. You'll thank me later.

Oh yes, there will be spoilers.

There is nothing in pop culture I love more than 24. Nothing. While making this list, I cried multiple times. I show about as much emotion as a pile of dirt, but talking to me about 24 turns me into an entirely different person. Passionate doesn't even begin to describe it. So during this article, I will likely ramble a lot. As I'm doing now. ONWARD!

Number 24
Chloe's Defense - Season 4, Episode 19
Chloe O'Brian is sent out to gather intel from a computer remotely about a possible suspect. Once at the woman's house, they're pursued by a madman with multiple deadly weapons and car. They're able to escape into the armored and bulletproof CTU car, where's Chloe is able to use a gun and protect them.
Why is this iconic? She is about as nerdy as you can get. She's a techy, she is not a field agent. So when she uses a gun she has no idea how to use in order to defend herself and a witness and actually kills the man, that's pretty badass. You go girl!

24 & 23


Number 23
The Coliseum - Season 2, Episode 24
HBIC Sherry Palmer is of course a co-co-co-co conspirator in Day 2's events and she feels ~remorseful~ so to lure the big bad guy into a trap, she and Jack set up a plan.
Why is this iconic? It's just a badass action scene, and one of the first occasions that we really get to see what Jack is capable of on a large scale. I mean by not just taking out one or two opponents. The sniper rifle is badass and he looks great handling it. Not to mention that kill where Jack scales a wall and breaks a mans neck. The final battle is between Jack Bauer and Jigsaw! hah My two favorite fandoms coming together to battle, nothing more iconic than that!

Number 22
Jack vs Fayed - Season 6, Episode 17
Fayed is one of the main bad guys of season 6 and he and Jack actually have some iconic moments together throughout the show but this one tops.
Why is this iconic? In one of Jack's best and most badass moments, in order to catch Fayed in the first place Jack actually clings himself underneath a truck and rides along barely scraping the road. Once there, he takes out Fayed's men with a single gun but after both men realize they're out of ammunition, they have to fight with their hands. It's a fun fight and both men grow weak during it, showing that not everything is easy peasy for Jack. Ultimately, he prevails and Fayed dies in a brutal way. But iconic.

22 & 21


Number 21
A nuclear bomb goes off in LA - Season 6, Episode 4
Things always start off with a bang with 24. The bad guys have multiple nuclear weapons at their disposal, and this was the first to go off.
Why is this iconic? Wow. Say what you want about season 6, but the first 4 episodes are the most amazing consecutive episodes of the show. Ever. Not to mention the best 4 episode season opener. The main threat of the season happened so quickly it kind of made you wonder how on Earth they could continue without jumping the shark. But they did.

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Number 20
Jack's Sacrifice - Season 6, Episode 1
At the end of season 5, Jack is captured by the Chinese for his crimes against them and at the start of season 6 was held for over a year and a half being tortured every day.
Why is this iconic? As stated above, Jack was tortured every day for a year and a half and never once broke. At the beginning of season 6, we find out that YAY Jack's coming back! But wait...his release was only organized so he could be sacrificed to other terrorists? That's not how this is supposed to work! But the important thing about this moment is that this gives a picture perfect image into the kind of man Jack Bauer is. He is willing to do this to protect his country. And it also shows us just one of countless number of times the country royally screwed Jack over by tossing him aside.

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Number 19
Audrey's Death - Season 9, Episode 12
Audrey, Audrey, Audrey. If Jack couldn't be with Teri, then she was the woman for him. They had a beautiful but very, very tragic love story. Honestly, with everything they put her through I was surprised she lived as long as she did.
Why is this iconic? One (big) reason is that Audrey and Jack were supposed to be endgame. At least I thought so. But of course they just can't let Jack be happy. 24 writers are cruel, soulless individuals. But it's because of this the show is so great. After season 6, we saw Audrey in a coma-like state but she was brought back for Live Another Day only to be married to some schmuck. Jack & Audrey never get their happy ending. But the main reason this is iconic is by how well it is done. In the episode just before this, there was an incredibly tense moment where we all thought Audrey was going to die, and then she escapes in the nick of time. In the season finale, however she dies. Just. Dies. Her team gets ambushed from out of nowhere and can't be saved. We were led to believe she would be saved and could be with Jack because the tension was gone, she was going to be out! But nope! 24 writers were having none of that! *shakes fist at them*

18
Number 18
Jack's Choice - Season 4, Episode 20
Audrey's husband that she's separated from but still sorta loves is in the ONLY emergency clinic at CTU when Jack rushes in with a dying man who can lead them to the terrorists. Jack forces the doctors to work on his man, leaving Audrey's husband to die.
Why is this iconic? This shows us the kind of decisions one (being Jack) has to make in order to keep the country safe. He loves Audrey, but he loves his country more and he wouldn't think twice about doing something he know would hurt one person he loves if it meant saving millions. But it doesn't mean it was easy for him. Again, this gives us a perfect image into the kind of man Jack is. He did the right thing, but somehow still the wrong thing. Actions have consequences.

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Number 17
Ryan's Sacrifice - Season 3, Episode 18
Ryan Chappelle isn't much liked at CTU. He's actually not brave either. Once he finds out the terrorists want him sacrificed because he was getting too close to a trail, he tries to flee.
Why is this iconic? The more I think about this moment, the more shocked I am by it. Not by moment itself, but the moments leading UP to it. In my view, David Palmer would have NEVER authorized the killing of Ryan. It was very out of character for him and I really just can't believe they actually went through with it. They could have found a way out of it. They always do. But Ryan was meant to die. It's because of this straightforward-ness to the situation that makes it an iconic moment.

16
Number 16
It's the President - Season 5, Episode 16
Henderson is responsible for the deaths of beloved Palmer and Michelle in the shocking season 5 opener. We know he's a bad guy. What we don't know is who he's working for.
Why is this iconic? Well, he's working for the President. Of the United States. Ever since his swearing in in season 4, we all suspected there was something off about Charles Logan. But I'm not sure many of us expected him to be behind Day 5's events. The fact that he was just shows that 24 will do anything. I mean, Logan had some pretty big shoes to fill following Palmer's tenure and he just wasn't meant to fill them.

15
Number 15
White House Invaded - Season 7, Episode 12
One of the many bad guys of Day 7 manages to infiltrate the White House with his clan. Yes, THE WHITE HOUSE.
Why is this iconic? Um...it's the White House!! How do you manage to invade the ~supposedly~ most impenetrable building in the world? 24 actually went there. And in another shocking twist of events, Jack Bauer actually had the President safe in a locked room but actually opened the door after Taylor's daughter gets kidnapped and she appeals to his sense of heart regarding his own daughter. Bad Jack! Fun fact: When I met Tony Todd (the instigator of the invasion), I told him this was one of the most iconic and tense moments in television of all-time. He was very proud.

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Number 14
Jack Bauer is...human?!?! - Season 3, Episode 24
The final scene of season 3 is Jack Bauer sitting in his car. Crying. Yes, he sheds actual tears.
Why is this iconic? Sometimes I will hear complaints that Jack is too robotic, 24 is too unrealistic, they never go to the bathroom, blah blah blah. But that's not true. None of that is true. This is probably one of my least favorite final moments of a season just because I like the cliffhangers more, but it is powerful in its own right. Jack is a man, just like any other man. He has feelings. He's been through hell and back and again three more times. We are reminded that his choices are not easy for him to make. Every action he takes has a consequence. Some save lives, others sacrifice them. He is just one man asked to save the world and is doing everything he can to do just that. But a man can only take so much. So he has a cry. My poor baby.

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Number 13
Jack Tortures His Brother - Season 6, Episode 7
It's revealed for the first time in season 6 that Jack has a brother (yeah, I know) who is a weasely little man who was found out in season 5 that he had something to do with the days events.
Why is this iconic? Give Kiefer an Emmy. All the Emmy's. For everything. Jack Bauer is two things - a tender, loving and gentle man and a brutal, ruthless, scare the piss out of you badass. There is literally no in between. The scene where he has to torture his own flesh and blood is so moving. Watching Kiefer act his ass off is impressive. He goes from baby face crying to Hulk-like rage in .02 seconds. This is the angriest we have ever seen him get without actually killing anyone. Wow. Just wow. All the standing ovations.

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Number 12
"I'm gonna need a hacksaw." - Season 2, Episode 1
After the events of Day 1, we see Jack is depressed and estranged from his only child. He is moping, ignoring calls and not his usual Jack self. He is asked to come back by the President himself, who he respects greatly, to complete a task.
Why is this iconic? Because again, we go from mopey and unresponsive Jack to badass in -.02 seconds. I'm sure we all thought Jack was going to just torture the guy to get the information he wanted, but nope. He just shot him point blank in the heart in front of Mason who is (hilariously) freaking out. But what will they do with the body? What was the point? That's when Jack declares he needs a hacksaw. To cut off the head of the guy and present it to those who want him dead to get deep undercover. Brilliant!

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Number 11
Jack Kidnaps the President - Season 5, Episode 24
That's just it. Jack kidnaps the President, of course with the help of some of Logan's aides and his own wife. But he still does it.
Why is this iconic? This is the President! The most powerful and highly guarded man in the entire world. I know he had inside help but this moment just seems particularly badass and of course iconic. And once again, also important because it shows us who the man Jack Bauer is. He has great respect for the President, all of them. But country comes first, and after finding out Logan (who is supposed to protect the country) was behind Day 5's events, he won't hesitate to do whatever it takes. Jack wants him to confess because of course he's the President and nobody will just take Jack's word for it, even if he is Jack Bauer. But that fails and Logan gets away. Still shocking that 24 and Jack actually went there.

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Number 10
"That's Jack Bauer!" (aka oops there go all my clothes) - Season 8, Episode 22
Is this or is this not the funniest moment of all 24? 24 isn't a funny show, but this moment is HILARIOUS! Of course Charles Logan is involved in something nefarious, as always. And of course Jack finds out, as always. He sets out to right the wrongs.
Why is this iconic? Because it is HILARIOUS! Logan is a weasel of a man (though a great and fascinating character), so it is super fun to watch him shrivel under Jack's mere name. His presence. Jack blocks Logan's motorcade in a tunnel donning a heaving black bulletproof suit. It's so hot. I mean, I'm sure Jack is really hot under that suit. But I'm really turned on by this. This is really hot. When it comes to Jack, it really doesn't take me much to get me going but this moment...*fans self* *clears throat* Moving on...anyway Logan is super funny here because he's practically in tears knowing that Jack is coming for him and screams/whines at his SS team to leave the doors closed and to kill Jack. Absolutely roflmao worthy. Logan is getting exactly what's coming to him. Everyone shrivels like a little bitch when Jack is near. And because I can't just leave this with mere words and pictures, link.

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Number 9
This entire episode - Season 2, Episode 15
The most amazing hour of television ever to air in the history of ever. Nothing will be better.
Why is this iconic? It is hands down the best hour of television, let alone 24. It is so emotionally heart-wrenching at every turn, and everyone delivers on their respective performances. Jack finally finds the bomb, only they can't detonate it so it has to be flown out into the desert on a suicide mission. Of course Jack volunteers being the standup guy that he is. The President is informed Jack will be the one to sacrifice himself and he takes it very hard. Tony reaches Kim and Jack is able to say goodbye to her. And as if 24 just couldn't stop playing with our heart at that point, it's found out that George Mason (who is already dying) has stowed himself on the plane so he can drive it in the desert and Jack can save himself. UGH. This is so powerful and raw and emotional. When the bomb goes off, we see the reactions of both David and Kim who love Jack very much but not knowing that he was actually spared.

Number 8
The End - Season 8, Episode 24
At the time, this was the final moment of 24 ever. Everyone knew it was ending, but we didn't know how. Jack & Chloe had been through a lot together over the years. Mostly just Chloe having his back and helping him on his rogue missions. But Jack rarely got a chance to thank her for that. This was that moment.
Why is this iconic? As 24 fans, we all love when characters have Jack's back. Chloe always did. No matter what. Their friendship was completely unexpected and Jack acknowledges that by starting his quote with "When you first arrived at CTU, I never thought it would be you...". Was this the perfect way to end the show, for good? No. Was it how I would have chosen to end it? No. Was it a touching moment that was still worthy to be the shows final image? Yes. Fans love Chloe & Jack's friendship, how she's willing to do anything to have his back. The 24 writers rarely delved into this aspect of their friendship and it was kind of like a nod to the 5 years we watched them grow. It was a sweet moment and I cried. A lot. When that final clock hit, I was a goner. I didn't speak to anyone for at least a day and I was in a catatonic state (literally no joke). My life had just ended.

8 & 7


Number 7
JACK. IS. BACK!!! - Season 9, Episode 1
After the emotional rollercoaster that was the (at the time) series finale of 24, there was no hope of the show ever coming back. This was confirmed by the final clock counting down to 00:00:00, signaling that it was for real over. Really.
Why is this iconic? Fox realized they made a grave mistake in cancelling 24, so they decided to bring it back. The fans response was so overwhelming, how could they deny us one last trip into the world of Jack Bauer? Short answer is they couldn't. I personally never (and still haven't) forgiven Fox for ending 24 the first time around. Neither season 8 nor LAD's ending was how I would have chosen to leave Jack Bauer. But that's for another time and place. When I found out 24 was coming back with all my babies (Jack, Chloe, Audrey, Heller) I was thrilled! I watched my first (and last) ever Superbowl just to catch the commercial for Live Another Day that was largely teased before. It was totally worth it. And when LAD finally aired, it was just like we never left! The first image of Jack Bauer in over 4 years had me literally screaming and crying. Legendary.

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Number 6
Jack Escapes - Season 4, Episode 24
After Day 4's events, Jack is a wanted man and when the proper authorities come to take him away, he is shot and killed.
Why is this iconic? Because that^ was all a ruse to make them think Jack was actually dead. It was cooked up by Tony, Michelle and Chloe and they all help Jack escape to start a new life. This is my favorite season finale, and all-time favorite last image of all of 24's episodes because it is just perfect. I watched this show on TV, if you can believe that. With commercials. With week long breaks between episodes and month long breaks between seasons. It was excruciating. So when I first watched this episode, I had no idea what was in store for Day 5. I was sad knowing Jack had to go into hiding, having no contact with any of his friends or family, leaving only the 4 most close to him to know he was alive. David and Jack's final conversation was one for the books, and looking back now knowing what happens in the beginning of Day 5 makes it all that much more heartbreaking. They said what they needed to say, and the writers left their friendship at a wonderful place. They just deserved more.

5
Number 5
This entire episode - Season 1, Episode 1
The one that started it all. A decade long journey, an iconic and legendary main character, and the change of television as we knew it.
Why is this iconic? It is the episode that started it all! And I watched from the VERY beginning. I remember the TV commercial promos for the show (very old school but unable to find now). I knew I had to watch. When I get a feeling about something, and I feel strongly about it, I am always right. I knew that 24 would be good. I just didn't know HOW good. If it weren't for the pilot episode, clearly 24 wouldn't exist. But in order for a show to succeed, a pilot has to be good. I am extremely finicky, and if I am not gripped right away I will never be. I don't waste time investing myself in a TV show only to feel half-assed about it. I was drawn in immediately, like no other TV show before or after it. I was invested in what was going to happen. I had to know what was next. We are introduced to the greatest television character of all-time, see his home and work life, and just like that we are sucked in to the world of 24. Fun treat: Enjoy link that played at the end of the episode and definitely gave you goosebumps.

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Number 4
David's Death - Season 5, Episode 1
24 is completely revolutionary for many reasons, and one of them being its one of the first major shows to truly shock you. Nobody is spared. Nobody. After the end of Day 4, Jack and David have said their goodbyes and we see David is back for Day 5 in the opening scene. We see something troubling him, but don't know what. We're never given the chance when he is suddenly and completely out of nowhere SHOT.
Why is this iconic? As I said, nobody is spared. But David's life had been threatened before at the end of season 2 when the legendary Mandy attempts to assassinate him. She clearly fails, but it still literally and figuratively scars him to this day. I was so happy to see David coming back, he is my 2nd favorite 24 character after the obvious. I had hoped he would have a big role in season 5. Unfortunately, it was not to be. He is looking out the window and is shot in the neck by a sniper. WHAT. EXCUSE ME. TAKE THAT BACK. I DIDN'T ASK FOR THIS! Losing David was awful. As I watched the episode and this happened, I literally screamed "NO!" out loud and was totally shocked I had my mouth open for a good minute while I was crying. Not every 24 death is iconic, because they happen so frequently and some just for the shock value but David's was the absolute worst. He was so beloved. A good guy, genuinely. And he was snuffed for the sake of bringing Jack back out of hiding. Cruel. Rude. Brilliant.

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Number 3
Friend or Foe? - Season 7
Tony died in season 5. Or did he? At the time, I remember fans being livid he didn't get a silent clock. Others speculated that meant he wasn't really dead. The latter turned out to be true. Tony was brought back for season 7, but we don't know why.
Why is this iconic? Tony's character arc in season 7 is my second all-time favorite of any character and in 24 as a whole. See, I didn't love Tony before. I appreciated him for what he was, but my favorite was always Jack. I found Tony to be a little whiny, and extremely selfish. And at times he really infuriated me. So when I found out he wasn't actually dead but was coming back for season 7, I honestly was underwhelmed. But what the writers chose to do with him blew my mind. Is he a good guy? Is he a bad guy? He goes back and forth throughout the entire season, and while this may sound like it wasn't done well, it really was. I absolutely LOVE Tony as a bad guy. It is completely in character for him and it fits. With Jack, he took out those who were directly responsible for the death of his loved ones. With Tony, he sought revenge but wasn't above hurting innocents to get to his end game. This fits in with Tony's selfishness and it just rocks. Love it. Standing ovation.

Number 2
Nina's a Mole - Season 1, Episode 23
SHUT. UP. Nina Myers is a freaking mole?! She's been working against us the whole time?!
Why is this iconic? After Nina, moles were common place in 24. Almost sometimes overused. But before Nina, we rarely entertained the thought there could be a bad guy from the inside. Nina's revelation is shocking because it is the first of its kind. The fact that it was Nina the whole time is doubly shocking because she and Jack had a little romance going on before the days events. He trusted her. She played him. But it was all a ruse. I have trust issues and hell, even I trusted Nina. We were all duped. Played for fools. But that's what makes this so well done. Maybe because as I said before, moles weren't exactly commonplace before her so the thought of someone on the inside betraying the good guys was unthinkable. Or maybe because it was written so well and there were clues throughout that you would only pick up on a second time around. Either way, this shook us all.

2 & 1


Number 1
Teri's Death - Season 1, Episode 24
Teri Bauer was the main protagonist Jack Bauer's wife. She was one of the good guys. She was also pregnant. She just happened to be in the wrong place at the very, very wrong time.
Why is this iconic? After Nina's bad guy reveal, she realizes her cover has been blown and has to book it. Teri is looking for Nina to share some good news with her and comes across Nina trying to escape. Unfortunately for Teri, Nina's bosses require her to leave no loose ends and to kill Teri. Now, you may be thinking that this really wasn't all that shocking. It is 2017 and shock deaths are what make TV what it is nowadays. But this was 2001. A good 16 years ago, that this revolutionary scene happened. You just didn't kill the protagonist, and you especially didn't kill his family. Jack does everything in his power to protect his country and his kidnapped family during the day, only to have his final act be to hold his dead wife's body in his arms as the clock silently ticks down. Wow. TV actually went there. This single moment is what makes 24 24. There is an alternate ending of Jack, Teri and Kim living happily ever after but it definitely did not have the same effect as the original ending. Because of the fact that this changed television as we know it, makes it the most iconic moment of all 24's history.